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The ethics of teaching in medicine: A personal view

Mario Vaz

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2019.037


While there is considerable literature on the teaching of medical ethics, much less has been written about the ethics of medical teaching. This article is a personal reflection on the latter. The devaluation of medical teaching, in part, but not only because of the difficulties of objectively assessing it, has serious ethical implications. Teaching, including medical teaching is a moral enterprise. The most serious consequence of inadequate medical teaching/learning is the graduation of incompetent and unethical medical students. Medical teachers have multiple functions and are positive or negative role models to the students they teach. Senior faculty have a moral imperative to continue to teach while mentoring their junior colleagues. Faculty and institutions need to be aware of the ethical consequences of a hidden and null curriculum that is at odds with the values and goals of medical teaching. Remedial measures are needed; there are several steps that medical teachers and administrators can take to address this issue

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